Warning Signs of Teen Suicide

Dr. Sohail Nibras Psychiatrist Sugar Land, TX

Dr. Sohail Nibras is a psychiatrist practicing in Sugar Land, TX. Dr. Nibras is a medical doctor specializing in the care of mental health patients. As a psychiatrist, Dr. Nibras diagnoses and treats mental illnesses. Dr. Nibras may treat patients through a variety of methods including medications, psychotherapy or talk... more

Suicide is a complex and sensitive issue. It occurs when a young person intentionally takes their own life. Before attempting suicide, they might experience suicidal thoughts or ideation. They may also engage in suicidal behavior. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death among individuals aged 15 to 24 in the United States.

Warning signs of teen suicide:

Many of the warning signs of suicide are also symptoms of depression. They are:

  • Unhealthy preoccupation with death and dying
  • Expressing feelings of hopelessness or having nothing to live for
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Engaging in self-harm behaviors 
  • Neglecting physical hygiene
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Acting out and running away behavior
  • Using alcohol and drugs frequently
  • Neglecting one’s appearance
  • Taking unnecessary risk
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Complaining of physical issues, for instance, stomachaches, headaches, and fatigue
  • Experiencing a sudden drop in grades
  • Feeling bored and unable to focus
  • Not responding positively to praise and appreciation

If you notice any of these signs in a teenager, it’s important to seek the advice of a healthcare professional for a diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Risk factors of teen suicide:

The teenage years can be a challenging and stressful period, marked by significant changes to the body, thoughts, and emotions. During this time, teens may experience intense feelings of stress, confusion, fear, and doubt that can affect their problem-solving abilities and decision-making skills. As a result, they may find it difficult or even embarrassing to overcome certain problems. In some cases, suicide may even seem like a viable solution.

Several factors increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors, including:

  • Psychological health issues such as depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders
  • Family history of suicide
  • Impulsive, aggressive, or disruptive behaviors
  • Troubles in school, such as bullying
  • History of trauma or abuse
  • Family violence, for instance, physical, sexual, verbal or emotional abuse
  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • Exposure to violence
  • Acute loss or rejection
  • Changes in their families, such as divorce or relocation to a new town
  • Alcohol and substance use
  • Easy access to a gun

How can I help prevent my teen from attempting suicide?

Learning the warning signs of teen suicide can prevent an attempt. Keeping open communication with your teen and their friends gives you an opportunity to help when needed. Also, take these steps:

  • Support your teen by listening to them without offering undue criticism.
  • Help your struggling child maintain connections with their friends and loved ones.
  • Express your love for your child or teen to build a strong bond.
  • Keep medicines and guns away from your teens to prevent unfortunate incidents.
  • Get your teen help for any mental or substance use problems from a professional psychiatrist.
  • Become informed about teen suicide. Search resources like the Internet.
  • Know the warning signs for depression.